Walmart Helps Veterans in Fight For Employment
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A major problem for our veterans once they return from service is finding a civilian job. On Tuesday, Walmart pledged to do it's part in helping veterans in the fight to find employment.
Suzie Miller, business services manager at the Mesa County Workforce Center, said, "We look at this opportunity with Walmart and we really applaud their efforts, and we really hope that other employers will follow that lead."
Richard Wihera, supervisory psychologist at the Grand Junction VA Medical Center, said, "Veterans definitely learn skills about teamwork, following orders and completing missions. And those are the things they can translate into a civilian position."
Beginning Memorial Day ,Walmart will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first 12 months off active duty.
"We'll assist in any way we can. Of course, often times, it's as simple as applying online, and we have a resource room full of computers we can dedicate to helping them fill those applications out online," Miller said"
A veteran himself, Jesus Elias is happy to see businesses taking a stand for veterans.
"You know we have a military discipline, code, that we follow. Integrity, the dedication, the work ethic, the leadership skills," Elias said.
However, not all veterans qualify for the terms of Walmart's pledge.
"If you have been out of work for five years, it's going to be harder for you to convince an employer that you are someone that they should take a chance on," said Wihera.
A program at the VA Medical Center, Compensated Work Therapy, helps veterans get back in the workplace.
Wihera, who is the director of the program, said, "It is designed to help improve veterans lives by helping them develop the vocational skills and the traits that they need to be successful in a work setting."
Many hope Walmart's pledge will cause a chain reaction, spurring others to give veterans a fighting chance.
In the last three months, 1,180 veterans registered online with the Mesa County Workforce Center, 928 of which unemployed.